trusted online casino malaysia
Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The Scriptorium

Much to Tell

What a joy to share with the Body of Christ! Acts 20.15-19

Paul’s Legacy (10)

Pray Psalm 57.9-11.
I will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing to You among the nations.
For Your mercy reaches unto the heavens,
And Your truth unto the clouds.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
Let Your glory be above all the earth.

Sing Psalm 57.9-11.
(Faben: Praise the Lord, Ye Heavens Adore Him)
Praise and thanks among the nations I will sing with all my might!
For Your truth and love are stationed far above the highest height!
Be exalted o’er the heavens, let Your glory fill the earth!
To Your Name all praise be given, let all men proclaim Your worth!

Read Acts 21.1-19; meditate on verses 15-19.

Preparation
1. How were Paul and his team received in Jerusalem?

2. What Paul do once he arrived there?

Meditation
Luke continues to slow down the action: They “packed up” (v. 15)? He hasn’t said that before, although they’d done it plenty of times, and it seems like a meaningless detail. But Luke’s just tapping the brakes a bit more to let the sense of anticipation build in us, the readers. Luke wants us to feel more of what Paul and his team were probably feeling as they made their way to Jerusalem.

We note that “some of the disciples” from Caesarea, along with Mnason of Cyprus (v. 16: recall that Cyprus was Paul’s first stop as a missionary), accompanied Paul and his team. They were as interested and concerned as we are, and Luke uses this detail once again to build the drama of the story.

Upon arriving in Jerusalem, Paul and his companions were received with gladness (v. 17). Whew! That breaks the tension a bit. Here, as in Philip’s home in Caesarea, the family of Jesus rejoiced to receive Paul, who had previously ravaged them. This is “forgive and forget” at a very high level. Only grace can accomplish this.

Paul’s first task in Jerusalem was to greet the Church and report to the leaders how God had blessed their decision concerning the Gentiles (Acts 15) through his ministry (vv. 18, 19). And what a great story he had to tell! Not only more believers and churches throughout Asia, and not just Jews but Gentiles as well, also into Greece; and he delivered their financial gift to relieve the family members in Judea!

Here we see the living Body of Christ. Rejoicing in distant new believers. Praising and thanking God for their concern. Sensing the growing scope and breadth and unity of the Body of Christ. Experiencing the power of the Kingdom of God. Sharing in the legacy of the apostle Paul.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
“We packed and went up to Jerusalem” (Acts 21.15).

There is a finality here that we haven’t seen before. Paul was an itinerant evangelist who had a good bit of life left in him. However, he knew that he would not come this way again. “And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more” (Acts 20.25).

There is an essence of otherworldliness to following Christ, and we must embrace it. It is not easy to do because it is contrary to our human nature. We love home. We love security. We thrive on family. And yet. We have been called to another love. Another King. Another way of thinking about all these things.

When Jesus was journeying, on the road to somewhere new to share the Good News of salvation, someone said to Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.” But Jesus, knowing that this would be a sticking point for all His followers present and future, said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” Then to double down on the truth of this He said to another listener, “Follow Me.” But this person responded, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” Jesus responded to this excuse, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.” Then another person thought they had it all nailed down tightly by saying, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.” Nice try. “But Jesus said to him, ‘No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.’” (Lk. 9.57-62)

And because of this teaching we have forebears like Peter and Barnabas and Silas and Paul and Luke and Stephen and Philip and Timothy and all the myriad disciples of Jesus Christ, through the ages, whose Personal Mission Field took precedence over their personal preferences and security.

Have we packed up and left for our Jerusalem? (Acts 21.15)

Do we trust God in the same way these people did? (Prov. 3.5, 6; Acts 20.24) Is He our first love? (Rev. 2.4)

Joshua summed up our calling as Christians like this: “But take careful heed to do the commandment of the law which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, to keep His commandments, to hold fast to Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul” (Josh. 22.5).

“Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage” (Ps. 84.5).
“Your statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage” (Ps. 119.54).

Our packing and pilgrimage may go no further than our front door, but if our hearts are set on following Jesus, we can be useful, and travel everywhere through prayer and supplication (Phil. 4.6): “…the prayer of the upright is His delight” (Prov. 15.8); “…golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints” (Rev. 5.8).

We will have much to tell when we pack up, don’t look back, and set out to follow Jesus (Acts 21.19).

For reflection

1. Have you “packed up” this world for Jesus? Explain.

2. The believers in Acts all seem like one big happy family. How do you think they managed that?

3. What do you have to tell about Jesus? To whom will you tell it today?

The evidence of how God changed the lives of Gentiles was presented to the Christians in Jerusalem. The strongest evidence was the Gentile believers themselves who had accompanied Paul to Jerusalem. At this time, Paul may have also given the money he had been collecting from the Gentile Christians (11:27–30; 1 Cor. 16:1). The love the Gentiles expressed to their suffering Jewish brethren was a mark of their genuine conversion. Earl Radmacher (1931-2014), NKJV Study Bible Note on Acts 21.19

Pray Psalm 57.1-8.
Pray about the day ahead, and how you may glorify God in it. Seek His protection against the devil and all temptation, and His strength to endure any trial. Pray that He will give you mercy and grace sufficient for all your needs, and thank Him abundantly for His Presence with you always.

Sing Psalm 47.2-8.
(Faben: Praise the Lord, Ye Heavens Adore Him)
Lord, be gracious, gracious to me, for my soul retreats in You.
In Your shadow keep me safely till the storms of life are through.
I will cry to You, the Most High; You do all things well for me.
You will save me when I thus cry, routing all who threaten me.

Send Your truth and lovingkindness; raging lions seek my soul.
Threats and sland’rous words without rest they against me fiercely roll.
Be exalted o’er the heavens, let Your glory fill the earth!
To Your Name all praise be given, let all men proclaim Your worth!

Nets and pits they set before me; overwhelmed, my soul bows down.
Let them all in their own works be thrown and scattered on the ground.
Let my heart no more be shaken, I will sing Your praises, Lord!
Harp and glory, now awaken to extol God’s faithful Word!

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can listen to a summary of last week’s Scriptorium study by going to our website, www.ailbe.org, and clicking theScriptorium tab for last Sunday. You can download any or all the studies in this series on Acts by clicking here.

Are you praying daily for revival, renewal, and awakening in our world? Our book Restore Us! shows you why you should and how you can. It includes prayer guides for personal or group use. You can order a free copy by clicking here.

If you find Scriptorium helpful in your walk with the Lord, please seek the Lord, asking Him whether you should contribute to the support of this daily ministry with your financial gifts. As the Lord leads, you can use the Contribute button at the website to give with a credit card or through PayPal or Anedot, or you can send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 360 Zephyr Road, Williston, VT 05495.

Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

Subscribe to Ailbe Newsletters

Sign up to receive our email newsletters and read columns about revival, renewal, and awakening built upon prayer, sharing, and mutual edification.

No items in cart